Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Timebombs

June 1, 2016
It isn’t possible to send out E-vites before expiring and passing on to heaven, another life or nothing, depending on what you believe.  There are no parties with tears and hugs before getting on to a helicopter and waving goodbye to everyone the way President Nixon did when he resigned.  No smile, wave and peace symbols flashed with your fingers before passing on.  It happens suddenly or it drags on.  It happens peacefully or we agonize and panic.  There really is no good way out.  We really are time bombs and don’t know when it is that we go off.
Andrew Millar received the news that he was going to die from cancerous polyps in his intestine, throughout his colon and into his blood stream.  He felt as he always felt but upon finding blood in his shit quite often, he decided to visit the doctor who sent him for tests.  In the same time in the same town, there was a man name Andrew Miller who was also worried about blood in the stool, saw his doctor and was sent in for testing.  The oncologist that was reading the results of Millar and Miller, mixed the two up.  The doctor told Millar that he should wrap up anything he needed to get done in the next six weeks when actually he just had anal fissures and nothing more and told Miller that he was absolutely fine when in reality, he had about six weeks to live.  It was an honest mistake brought on by the distraction that the FDA and FBI were about to bust the oncologist for prescribing unsanctioned, cheap Canadian drugs that were not approved so that he could make more money than if he purchased the cancer drugs through approved sources in the United States.  Who doesn’t want to save money?
Now Millar was a Jazz guitarist that never quite cracked the fame ceiling and was able to sustain himself just on playing music.  Millar had to teach guitar to young men who wanted to learn Led Zepplin riffs, play Glen Miller ( no pun intended ) songs at nursing homes and Kool and the Gang songs at weddings.  To really pay the bills, Millar was a substitute teacher in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.  Millar usually brought his guitar to try to calm the high school age kids.  He would ask them to name songs and he would play them and as time went on, kids no longer listened to much music that required guitar.  They would throw out Ariana Grande, Justin Beiber or other syrupy, bubble gum stuff that really didn’t have guitar in it.  The youngsters were not impressed with his talent.  He was just a dumpy old man who looked like he hated the world.  Millar wore frayed jeans with a collared shirt untucked so as to not accentuate his second trimester belly fat.  He had a receding hair-line and he hated that life seemed to be changing for the worse for people like him- white, male, under employed, baby boomers.  Jazz was his sanctuary.  He would show up for Jazz jams around the city where a couple or two would listen to really great musicians play out of a bible of memorized standards.  It really was the same shit over and over.  It seems that all the Jazz that anyone ever played, was created during a 15 year period which ended with the Bossa Nova fling in the 1960’s.  Other than that, Millar really did not like his life.  Being a substitute teacher is what he loathed the most in life.
Upon receiving the news that he was going to die soon.  Millar was getting ready to sell everything on Craig’s List that he could get rid of and move to Amsterdam until he died.  He was going to smoke hash when the cancer really took hold, fuck prostitutes without protection and play Jazz is some really cool clubs in a very seemingly cool country.  The phone rang early on a Monday morning.
“Listen…  I’m going to die very soon…  You know what I’m saying?  In six weeks or less, it’s taps for me.  I don’t need the sixty bucks a day after taxes just to put up with little fucks who think they have it all figured out.”
“Just this one last time…  I’m absolutely in dire straits right now.  I have illness, births, deaths and not enough people to watch these rooms…  What can I do to sweeten the deal?”
A bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon and the day’s pay.  Millar walked into the room to find the students sitting on top of desks, shouting, talking on cell phones and one young black man was dancing in front of a mirror.  The students were part of a “special” class where they were all just incident away from possibly becoming part of true special education environment.  Millar, moved the desks into a circle and then told the students to sit where ever they want.  Millar stood in the middle.  The students quieted down.  They were intrigued by the seating arrangement.  Millar looked down and supported his chin with his thumb and index finger.  He looked both troubled and deep in thought.  A female finally asked him what was going on.
“No bullshit busy work today.  Your regular teacher is dying or giving birth or just blowing this off because she is frazzled.  I have no idea why and it doesn’t matter to me.  I have my own cross to burn today…  I want you each to look at me and tell me one thing that comes to mind about me.  We will go clockwise…  You sir…  You’re first.”
“Old, fat, sloppy, angry, tired, lazy, white, poor, ugly, stupid, racist…”
“Very good…  You’re getting the game.  So let’s back up and guess what I was like as a ninth grader like all of you.  I was a ninth back in 1982!  Before cellphones, graphic porn, PCs, laptops and a slew of other things that have managed to baby sit all of you today…  Sir…  Start again.”
“Nerdy, skinny, small, scared, pasty, introverted, nose picker, masturbator, momma’s boy…”
“Well…  It’s as if you were all right there with me back in 1982…  Okay, now it’s my turn.”
Millar rolled up his sleeves, took out a small bottle of Woodford Reserve from his pocket, took a swig, wiped his mouth like a pirate, exhaled loudly, clapped his hands and then rubbed them together.
“You there…  Art chick.  Tall and blonde, nice brand new body on you.  You may have gone lesbian for shock value or will by the time you enter into a college.  Once the shock of lesbian wares off, you’ll have a black guy.  Not the safe Uncle Tom types that take up ice hockey and if you close your eyes, you’d swear you were talking to a nerdy white guy…  You know what I’m talking about homey, dontcha?”
Millar pointed to the young black man with braids, sitting with his legs spread and his arms crossed, wondering where this was going.  And wondering more- why?
“The oreo type that uses words like awesome after everything.  Maybe calls guys bro or dude.  He likes skiing and salsa dancing with his really white girlfriend.  They’ll take a cooking class together and Lamaze someday when they decide to spawn little zebras…  No not that type of safe black man.  I’m talking about the guy who washes his car daily, with special rims and a special stereo system that sounds like bombs falling on London with the deep bass.  His white gym shoes are a cherished possession.  Maybe was in a gang or is in a gang.  Lives a rough and tumble life in south central LA but gets bused all the way out to Woodland Hills just so he gets to see where really white whites hide away from the real world.  Tattoos, malt liquor, weed and speaks in mumbling, unintelligible half sentences and could never look the young white art chick’s dad in the eye and say, “pleased to meet you”.  Not pleased to meet you actually…  Dude…  What else do we have here?  Ah yes…  You there.”
A muscular white guy with his team football jersey on who was squinting and picking at his nails.  He was intrigued.
“You young man…  The proverbial boy next door.  You won’t probably make it to division I or II football.  You’re too slow, too white and not meaty enough.  You need to put on about 100 lbs and six inches just so you can stand on a line and bash your helmet into another equally grotesquely large man until someday voices in your head tell you to kill yourself.  No, you won’t go pro but you could wind up a bouncer for a really chic dance club near Hollywood.  You’ll marry some petite shrew, divorce, see your kids two weekends a month, sell cars or real estate and learn that you’re not a salesman…  You’ll have an epiphany at the age of like 28 that you should go back to school to become a PE teacher and get a gig as a…  ready for this?  A high school football coach!  My advice- don’t wait until you cannot sell cars or homes.  Go to college and become a PE teacher right away…  What else have we here?  Ah you…”
A chubby Mexican boy wearing shiny black shoes, dress pants, a plain white T-shirt and a blue flannel shirt buttoned only at the top.  Millar walked by and put his hand on his shoulder before going to the chalk  board and wrote a word in large letters.
ASSIMILATE
“Vato…  What is this word in Spanish?  Someday when I’m long gone and white people go the way of the Dodo Bird, it will be a moot word.  A word not necessary anymore.  Y’see…  Old white fucks like me go home and watch old television reruns and wonder where that America went.  Half the shit in this city is written in Spanish.  The Germans, Dutch, French, Italians all learned English.  The Koreans, Polish and Russians have all muddled along but not the Mexicans.  We need to write polite versions of be smart and don’t run on a wet floor in Spanish.  Why not Dutch or German?  Because they Came here and learned the language and became part of America.  Who created Donald Trump?…  Excuse the expression…  You people by not assimilating.  ASSIMILATE…  The word of the day.  Not because you’re rapists and murderers or taking jobs beneath all other Americans…  None of that shit.  For every white or black or Asian children born, there are three Latinos, Hispanics…  Primarily Mexicans being born.  Blacks don’t realize yet that at 12% of the population, they are the minorities.  Not the Latinos…  And that tag makes me laugh.  What exactly is Latin about Mayans who were conquered by Spaniards and forced to learn a European language…  So you, gordo…  You got a charp Chevy Chort…  Maybe a 1964 Impala lowered to about three inches off the ground.  You hang out in your barrio and try to kill others who are not from your barrio, right, essay…  Who have I left out?  Oh yes…  The Asian.”
A smallish Filipino boy sat with his arms folded and was in awe of what was being spewed by the substitute teacher.
“So you speak like you’re black and love the hip-hop culture.  You drive around in a little noisy Honda all souped up to race around with other smaller Asian lads on weekends.  You have a Spanish surname, sound like you’re black and will wind up going to college to become a nurse.  You’ll marry another Asian and get together with only other Asians and will live happily as can be.  That is provided you don’t get a divorce and decide to return to Manila, dress like a broad and sing bad Madonna covers in lounges as a career…  If you do, things are all set up for you here now.  You can piss wherever you want.  You got a cock but feel like there’s a woman trying to get out of you…  Fucking piss anywhere you want.  In fact, I’d claim to be LBG or T just to get a civil servant job.  That new group will be in the front row for any sort of new affirmative action…  Well I could go on and on really.  I hope that I have reached you all in some small way and let you know how we older people see you.  Know that the best years of your life are right now and that when you have to fend for yourself, it will suck.  Can’t wait to be 21 so you can drink?  You’ll need a drink to deal with life in America…  The greatest, strongest, smartest, most witty nation in the world and that is only our opinion of ourselves… where everyone aspires to be just like us except people like this young lady here with the head scarf.  Maybe she will find the love of her life in a camp in Syria, strap a bomb to her chest and take out the French or holiday workers in San Bernardino.  You say that is racist and unfair?  How many Hindus or Buddhists are beheading westerners in the name of their religion?  So unfair to think that way…  I know, I know.  They come here to wear blue jeans and drink Starbucks just like the rest of us.  Maybe they’re just trying to keep us from being more miserable and fucking things up more than we already are.  Picture this as a commencement speech from an angry old man that is dying.  I’m dying and will be dead long before all of you provided you don’t keep your heads up your asses.  Stereotypes aside- you are what makes America what it is.  Love it or go fuck yourself…  I think the bell will ring soon.  Whatever you do, just try to be happy.  Life is short and one day you get to be my age and look at the youth and want to just slap them into reality.  I hope I’ve done that today…  Either way, you won’t forget me for a while…  Class dismissed.”
Millar got home and saw the number 2 blinking on his answering machine that he purchased back in 1988 that was linked to his landline telephone.  Millar had a suspicion about one of the calls and he was right.  It was the school principal and he sounded like he was going to have a heart attack or stroke.
“What the fuck did you do today?  You are not getting paid for today. You are not getting any Scotch. You are not coming back to this school.  You will probably get sued and wind up on the news.  I guess if there is any saving grace to any of this shit is that you didn’t show up with a gun and just kill us all.  You may have killed my job and any chance of becoming a superintendent someday and for that I have to say fuck you, you fucking dick.  You twisted fuck.”
Millar poured himself a drink turned on the computer and checked email.  There was a bunch of junk from the Mayo Clinic, invites to play gigs for twenty dollars here or there and then one from one of the students.  Millar read it and then re-read it.  He turned off his computer and then turned it back on and re-read it one more time.
“Dear Mr. Millar,
I won’t let you know who I am.  I don’t want to be categorized further.  I just want to let you know that maybe we were wrong about you and maybe you were wrong about us.  You are right that we won’t soon forget you.  I cliqued on the link to your music page and you are a great guitarist.  I’m not a Jazz fan but liked what you play.  We all would have liked to hear you play instead of try to stereotype us.  Whatever…  It’s done now.  Just thought you should know that just because you’ve lived longer, it doesn’t mean you have it all figured out and you certainly don’t have all the answers.  That’s all.
 Millar forgot to play the second message on his answering machine.  He went back and hit play several times.
“Mr. Millar, I would like a call back from you but in the interim, I have some good news for you.  You are not going to die in six weeks from cancer.  You results were mixed up with another man with a very similar name to you.  You are absolutely fine and should live a long and happy life.  Call me if you wish to discuss this further.  Please let me know that you received this message.”
Message received.  All of them.
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Voices Carry

October 1, 2013

Charles sometimes Chuck, Chucky or even Chas, made it through the 1980s level headed and drug-free. Nancy Reagan told him to say no and Chas listened. Except for a year or two when he took steroids to bulk up so as to not get messed with as young Marine recruit near San Diego, Chuck was not into drugs. Other than steroids, Chuck was drug free. Charles drug was his perfect body.
It was sometime in the 1980’s, the late 80’s that Charles was jogging in a pair of silky shorts with his shirt off and no socks in Minot, North Dakota. All he wore was a knit hat that had a smiling priest/friar swinging a baseball bat- San Diego Padres. Emily watched in awe as the young military man jogged almost naked on a night when the air temperature was about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. She stepped outside her parent’s home where her future was becoming a wife to some local slob who might drive a truck or a miner who was into wrestling and monster truck rallies. An Adonis jogged by in frigid temps and suddenly stopped to marvel at what he thought was the Northern Lights. The strange colors in the sky was a Chinook taking place. The frigid air gave way to a sudden rise in temperatures and hurricane force winds. Chas stood looking at the strange sky and inhaled the crisp air that was becoming warmer by the minute. Emily opened the door to her house and walked up to Chas without saying a word and took his hand. Charles took it to be a gift from god and an answer to prayer. You decide.
Charlie and Emily had been placed in places all over the world and all over the United States. The Marines had sent one of their top recruiters to live in Los Angeles. Charlie hated LA. To Chas, it was New York with palm trees. It was nothing more than an over-populated metropolis and what god had in mind when he was getting ready to destroy Gomorra. Or was it Sodom?
Emily and Charlie only had one child, a boy that they named Cliff. Cliff grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He played ice hockey and liked to sing. Cliff through inheritance had a very nice body for a young man. Cliff dyed his hair blond and cut it into a tall flattop. Cliff listened to early eighties New Wave music and watched every John Hughes movie that was ever made, tried to look like Billy Idol and was part of the Til Tuesday fan club, a band that was known in the eighties for a song entitled, Voices Carry. Cliff liked musicals and dancing and really wanted to be an entertainer, not a military man.
“Well sir, we stopped your son for crossing lanes twice on the 405 near Sherman Way before Roscoe without a signal. We have it on film if you care to see. We found eight individuals crammed into a vehicle that could fit four comfortably and then we discovered contraband, which brings a class two felony. Bond is set at $10,000.00. You can post bond or let your son face the judge on Monday.”
Charlie’s sharp jaw line grew tight as he spread out a stack of hundred dollar bills collected from an ATM. Cliff emerged from the holding pen in Van Nuys with his collared shirt unbuttoned and his lip slightly curled just like Billy Idol and Elvis Presley before him. Charles said nothing to Cliff on the ride home. Once inside their yellow stucco home in Granada Hills, Chas quietly began to ransack Cliff’s bedroom in search of drugs. Cliff asked his father rhetorical questions.
“What the fuck are you doing? What right do you have to go through my shit?”
“This is my home and I have a right to do what ever I wish. You have drugs in my house and I am going to find them. When the fucking ruby heads hid guns in their goddamn homes, I found them. That was my job to find hidden shit. I will find what you have hidden tonight without a doubt.”
It took a solid five minutes before Charlie overturned his son’s bed to find that he had cut a hole in the hardwood floor and had a stash of weed, cocaine and dildos in a box. There was a ten inch black cock with veins sticking out, an off-white one about six inches long and then a double dong. Charlie was paralyzed by his findings. Cliff spoke first.
“I confiscated things I found in this house so that when the day came when you would intrude on my privacy, I could then ask you what the fuck this shit is for. Is this going up your ass, some other dude or mom? You tell me. You tell me what this shit is used for and I will tell you what you want to know. The wholesome Marine loving god and country and rubber cocks… I’m ready when you are, dad.”
“Keep your fucking voice down. I don’t need the neighbors to hear what we’re discussing.”
Emily was reading Oprah’s O magazine about how Oprah trained for marathons. Emily was thinking about running a marathon too. Emily heard things falling earlier but never got out of bed to find out what the noise was about. Chas came into their bedroom with furrowed brow, looking distracted and disturbed. Emily put her hand on her husband’s and kissed his naked shoulder. Charles said nothing. Emily turned off the light on her side of the bed on a nightstand and settled in to fall asleep. She could sense that her husband was unsettled. Charles was famous for never showing emotion or discussing things. Charles nervously asked two questions at once just before Emily had drifted off to sleep.
“I have two things I have to ask you and I want the truth. Have you ever been with a black man?”
“Okay… What’s the second question?”
“Is a two headed dildo used for your ass and vagina or would you use something like that with an other woman?”
Emily chose to not answer. Charles acted as if the question was never posed. Other things came up again with their son and they lived mostly happily ever after. Or as good as could be given all the things that could happen in life in America.

I’m in the dark, I’d like to read his mind
But I’m frightened of the things I might find
Oh, there must be something he’s thinking of
To tear him away-a-ay
When I tell him that I’m falling in love
Why does he say

Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry

Amigos in America

February 29, 2012

The Ortega’s, no relation to Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua at least none that any of them know, came from a small town in Mexico. The town that the Ortega’s come from in Mexico is not one that American vacationers would flock to overeat, over drink and generally over indulge in. After the birth of his third child, Ronaldo Reagan Ortega, Javier packed up his family and crossed the Rio Grande and made his way up to the city of Chicago.
The idea to move to the United States came to Javier when his wife gave birth to a sandy haired blue eyed boy that he named after the United States President that he admired so much. Javier thought that it was fantastic that a man, who made pretty bad movies, could go on to be a governor of a state and then become president of one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world. Way back in Javier’s ancestry, there was blond haired, blue eyed German man who was his great-great grandfather who had immigrated to Mexico. Javier took the recessive trait that surfaced in his son as a sign from god- go live with the white people in America.
Javier washed cars, drove trucks and cleaned tables as an undocumented illegal alien. He did an outstanding job of saving money to help his children as they got older. There was Socorro who was tall and thin with straight and long jet black hair with high cheek bones. Socorro was the eldest and the rebel among the three children. Socorro had moved to Los Angeles and married a Low-rider gangster who gave up gangbanging to customize classic cars for other Low- riders. Socorro had two children and lived in a small house not far from LAX airport in Los Angeles. Nina was the middle child who was quiet and always there to help family at all times. Nina bought a home with her husband in Chicago and moved her parents in with them.
Ronaldo was handsome and fair skinned. He resembled those European actors in the Spanish speaking novellas and had the ability to blend in with Anglo looking people without a second look. Ronaldo was an outstanding student that finished medical school, became a citizen of the United States and had a birthday all in the same month.
Ronaldo had a girlfriend named Jennifer who was a complete physical package in the eyes of most men. She was pretty on an athletic frame with a nice set of breasts and perky posterior. Jennifer was high maintenance among women who are considered high maintenance. Jennifer had to have all the passwords to Ronaldo’s emails, Facebook account and cell phone. Jennifer chose all of Ronaldo’s clothes, told him where to go to medical school, what car to buy. Slowly over time, all of Ronaldo’s childhood friends were slowly phased out and those with money and title moved in to become Ronaldo’s newly sanitized friends. Ronaldo’s family said very little about their concern that Jennifer, a rich sheltered woman was reinventing the pliable Ronaldo into something that was not Latino. The family’s fear was that they were going to lose their brother and son.
Jennifer rented a coach bus to take Ronaldo on a tour of his thirty favorite places in Chicago with his newly adopted friends. Jennifer had planned on renting out a banquet hall for the celebration of becoming a citizen, a doctor and having his thirtieth birthday. Ronaldo asked Jennifer to have the party at the culmination of the six hour tour on the coach bus at his sister Nina’s house so that he could see his family for his birthday.
Nina and their parents didn’t feel slighted that Jennifer did not invite them to go along on the coach bus to tour places that she felt were Ronaldo’s favorite places. Socorro had driven in with her husband for the celebration in a sharp 1964 Chevrolet Impala that was lowered three inches from the ground and painted a sparkly red color with spoke wheels and a hand painted sign on the back window that said, “Chavo Y Socorro”. Socorro voiced her displeasure about Jennifer’s controlling nature to her parents and sister but promised to hold her tongue.
At a few minutes after six in the evening. Thirty loud, drunk people filed out of the coach bus and into the home on Nina. The crowd was mostly white and well to do. The new friends of Ronaldo devoured all the food and drank more alcohol. They were drunk, loud and obnoxious. Nina, Socorro and their parents looked out of place in their own home among the partying people. Jennifer, who was wearing a tight black dress, climbed on top of a coffee table in the living room and banged a spoon against her beer bottle until everyone stopped talking and listened to her. Jennifer sucked in her quivering lips and put her right hand against her chest. She began to cry as she gave her dedication speech to the entire room.
“I just want to say that I am so proud of the love of my life Ronaldo who has come so far from where he was to where he is now. From a little town that nobody ever heard of in Mexico to become an American citizen just like all of us. Very soon Ronaldo will do his residency at Children’s Hospital here in Chicago. I want to thank all of you for being here to celebrate a special time for both Ronaldo and I… I really love you all so very much…”
The crowd cheered and chanted Ronaldo’s name. Friends raised shot glasses and bottles of Mexican beer. The room had the feel of a frat party that was about to get out of hand. Drunken urban professionals showed up at Nina’s home to eat and drink more. Socorro could no longer hold back. Socorro stood up on her chair and banged a fork against a bottle of beer. A few men whistled as the shapely woman with blue eye liner stood up to say a few words to the group of friends.
“I want my brother to know that his family has always been proud of him and have always known he is special. He is special not because he looks like Europeans but because he has a good heart. I hope as he enters and is accepted into the world of Caucasian people, that he always remembers that little town he was from in Mexico that I have heard of as has my sister and my parents. I hope my brother keeps in mind to be American does not mean to not be Mexican. I hope my brother remembers that while blacks were once sent to the back of the bus in favor of white people during this black history month, Mexicans today weren’t invited or even allowed on the bus. I hope you all enjoyed the authentic Mexican food you ate today and will be considerate and clean up your mess before you leave because these Mexicans who live here are not servants or busboys today. I hope you all keep in mind when you leave here and are safely back in your safe suburbs among all the people who look just like you… The day is coming when you will all have to recognize that we are here, we are growing and we are not going anywhere. Every time you see a nice front lawn, every time you eat at a restaurant, think about the people who make that possible… Think about that when you’re drinking your Coronas on Cinco de Mayo and think about that now that you’ve adopted my blue eyed brother as one of your own… I ask you all to raise your glasses and repeat after me… Viva Mexico, putas.”
And they lived happily ever after. Separately.

The Day You Passed Away

February 15, 2012

Jasper opened his eyes to find himself in his childhood bedroom. He looked at the blinds that let rays of light filter in through the slats. He sat up and studied himself in the mirror; a thin figure with acne and long, wavy, brown hair. Jasper slipped on a T shirt and walked down to the kitchen. A tinny voice spoke about the coming presidential elections between Reagan and Mondale through a small radio on the kitchen counter. Jasper looked out of the kitchen window and noticed a table full of people in what would have been the backyard that was nothing more than a large field that went as far as the eye could see. It was a giant picnic table that seemed to stretch to the horizon. At the table were people seated on both sides. A warm breeze gently made the high grass bend lazily. Two of Jasper’s childhood dogs ran up to greet him followed by his grandmother who kissed him and held him so tightly that it was hard to breathe.
“We’ve been here for some time now and we had gotten word that you might be coming home today… We just weren’t sure when… Come say hello to granddaddy. He’s over there talking to General Patton.”
General Patton wore his helmet and had four stars on each side of his collar. Over his left breast were several military pins. George was petting the dogs and discussing World War I and II with Jasper’s great-grandfather who had served in Belgium during World War I.
“I proclaimed many things and you have to be bold when you’re a four star general. People want to know if you’re brave or flapping in the breeze like a surrender flag… That’s all fine and well. When I got to Lorraine region of France, I made a bold declaration. I told the medical corps that there will be no more VD and there wasn’t. You can imagine all the wounded and dying and we have medics trying to cure The Clap… I put an end to that nonsense… Well then, there he is, the man of the hour. Your granddad says you were an outstanding young man and would have joined the military had it not been for something called Punk Rock. Each generation has something that would lead the previous generations to want to slap the shit out of those that followed. We call them descendants but we really don’t wish that they descend into the mire after us. You understand? Bismarck might have gave me a good crack and possibly Peter the Great might have backhanded him. I don’t know if you have kids but kids have a tendency to let their parents down. I have had very little in the way of poor reports on you, kid… Nice to have made your acquaintance. If you have ever wondered what you can do forever, you have the chance to meet and talk to anyone you want. Just the other day, I was talking to a guy named John Lennon. A nice English fellow. It took a good half hour before I realized that he was no relation to the Russian Lenin. Some here say that his music was quite popular but probably not my cup of meat.”
Jasper furrowed his brow and looked around at people he knew and didn’t know. Jasper’s cousin Sheila came jogging up in a pair of shorts and a spaghetti strap top. She had a smile as wide as one could manage. She hugged Jasper hard. Sheila smelled of Babysoft and Clairol Herbalessence shampoo from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
“Dude! So good to see you. I heard you were coming and I had to make sure I was here to meet you. It’s so good to see you again. We just got word that Whitney Houston is on her way here today… Hey! You remember when we traveled from L.A. to Denver in your little Fiat? We had to pretend to be married cause none of those yokels would rent us a room thinking we were just teenagers out to fool around for the night. Remember? I wrapped my arm around you and convinced that old woman at the Bates looking motel that you and I were newly weds and that you didn’t have the money to buy me a ring. We slept in the same bed and I warned you not to touch me… Do you remember?”
Sheila still had both her arms wrapped around Jasper at the waist as she studied his face. Sheila was young and vibrant. The wind blew her reddish brown hair over her face. A few strands stuck to her lips. Sheila was still smiling. She put her head against Jasper’s chest and hugged him tight. The thought suddenly came to Jasper that he had not seen his cousin in 27 years and the last time he saw her was during the trip from Los Angeles to Denver. Their Uncle Butch had just called Jasper not long ago to report that Sheila had taken a gun and shot herself in the head while taking a shower. She left behind a few children and a husband. Butch had told Jasper that Sheila had become depressed and obese. Jasper felt badly that he had never connected again with his cousin that meant something to him at a time when life had changed from youth and had taken a distinct path towards adulthood on the road from Los Angeles to Denver.
“Butch called me not long ago… I had heard from him about you…”
Sheila closed her eyes and put her index finger across Jasper’s lips. She put her hands on Jasper’s cheeks and held his head still as she spoke to him with serious but playful eyes.
“You decided to leave Los Angeles for Chicago at a wedding when we were 18 years old. You told me that you were going to go to college and stop chasing the dream to be a musician… We didn’t know it then but that was the pinnacle of our youth and the dividing line between what was and what was going to be… You were a big James Dean fan and you even said as we drove in your Fiat Spider with the top down, that Jimmy went out when he was on top and that you couldn’t see yourself playing bingo and cutting coupons one day.”
James Dean walked up with his blondish brown hair ruffled in the front. He wore a plain white T shirt, faded jeans and a pair of boots. He smiled, showing a dimple on one side of his cheek. He held a red coat over his right shoulder.
“Sheila tells me that you drove from Chicago to Fairmont, Indiana to find where I lived… That’s a little kookie, kid. You remind me of Sal Mineo a little bit; two nervous guys. Just so you know; Indiana is everywhere and nowhere all at the same. You don’t believe me, ask Kurt Vonnegut. He’s over there talking to someone called H.L. Mencken.”
The whole thing began to make sense to Jasper. Tears began to stream down his cheek. Sheila hugged him and wiped away the tears. She asked why he was upset.
“I’m either having a very descriptive dream or I’m dead and if I’m dead, it’s unfair that I had so much I wanted and needed to do and didn’t get a chance to finish it. I couldn’t even tell my wife and kids that I love them and that despite the fact that I’m always so busy, I really do love them more than life itself… I remember driving home from work and that it was my last day. I had to go home to tell my wife that my job had been eliminated. I had to tell her that I hadn’t been paying the mortgage on a home that we owned for ten years and that any day we could be evicted. I needed to tell her that the college money we saved for our daughter was squandered on bad investments and then I open my eyes and I’m laying in my old bed from when I was kid. I’m skinny, with acne and a lot of hair. If I’m dreaming, I want it to end now so that I can sort out the shit I got myself into… Sheila, promise you’ll stay with me for a while til I figure this all out.”
“I’m holding your hand and will til we figure this all out…”
At a suburban Chicago hospital, Jasper laid on a bed. His two children stood nearby answering text messages as his wife held his lifeless hand. A young doctor, who hadn’t been on call when Jasper was rushed into the emergency room, read the chart of the man who had a stroke and appeared to be having no brain activity. The young doctor was thinking about his vacation to Aruba that would begin at 4am with a plane ride to Miami and then off to the island. The sad wives and stunned adult children scenario was common place. Dr. Brown felt very little empathy but had learned early on to speak in sympathetic tones. His recommendation was to pull the plug because the 48 year old Jasper would never be what he once was. The family sobbed and wailed for a good hour or so. They touched their husband and father who meant something to them. There would be a visitation and service, he would be buried and then the realization would set in a few days later, that he was truly gone and that one day they would each take their turn.
Whitney Houston walked up in a full length gown looking young and elegant. She smiled a confused smile. People that neither Jasper, Sheila nor George Patton knew, came to greet Whitney. Sheila walked with Jasper along the table that was taken up by guests. Jasper asked where they were going. Sheila kissed her cousin on the cheek and clasped his hand in hers.
“Believe this or not… As big as this table is, there is a spot for you and I. We are going to find it…”

Dedicated to my cousin Sheila and all those who ever lived…

The Wifeswappers

March 9, 2010

Daphne moved to Los Angeles from Detroit ten years earlier, married a doctor and had two children. Ironically, Daphne lived just blocks away from where the whole O.J. Simpson drama had taken place in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles.
Anna had stayed in suburban Detroit her whole life and was married and living in Royal Oak, Michigan. Anna had two young children and a dog and a house, two cars and a time share in Cancun. Both women, who had been childhood friends, had comfortable middle class lives.
After graduating from Southfield High School, Daphne and Anna both attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and rented an apartment together. It was shortly after graduation from college that Daphne decided to move blindly to Los Angeles without knowing anyone. Daphne and Anna remained friends over the years and with cell phones and email, they stayed in near constant contact.
Daphne sent a text message to Anna just a few days before arriving in Detroit.

WILL BE COMING INTO TOWN WITH MY FRIEND FOR A FEW DAYS. WILL BE STAYING AT THE GREEKTOWN CASINO. CAN YOU MEET FOR DINNER AND DRINKS ON SATURDAY NIGHT? LOVE YOU. CAN’T WAIT TO CATCH UP.

Anna was the epitome of whiteness in that she was fairly pale and covered with freckles. Her nearly platinum hair hung limply and rested on her shoulders. In the thirty years that both women had been alive, very little changed for Anna. Daphne on the other hand was black and was vibrant, the take charge type and was very secure in the fact that she was attractive to all types of men. Daphne landed a black doctor and knew that she more or less a trophy for her husband but she didn’t mind because she had all she wanted and needed and more.
“Hey girl! It is so good to see you! Look at you all pale, hiding indoors during the Midwest winter. Girl, I gotta get you out to Cali. I live ten minutes from the ocean in Santa Monica. You gotta come out this year without excuses,” said Daphne, while hugging Anna.
Anna noticed that Daphne’s friend was a suave looking mixed race young man with a razor sharp beard and moustache. He reeked of cologne and wore heavy gold jewelry around his neck, wrist and fingers. He had a smirk on his face as he watched the two women embrace. Daphne picked up on the fact that Anna was staring at Javier with a perplexed look on her face.
“Anna this is my friend Javier. Javier, this is Anna… This is the sister I never had. There are sistahs but this girl would have been my sister. We were inseparable during junior high, high school and college. Every weekend I was at her place or she was at mine. We played volleyball and softball for our high school together… I love this girl more than I can say.”
The three of them had dinner in Greektown at the Pegasus Restaurant in downtown Detroit. Javier marveled at how overweight and dowdy the men looked with their feathered, mullet hair cuts and Detroit Red Wing jerseys. The women were really nothing to look at either. Javier did study Anna closely and found her plain look to be intriguing. Usually he liked a woman of color with a small waist and large ass or a thin, hairless Asian woman who resembled a twelve year old boy but rarely a thin white woman with straight blond hair and freckles.
“Eh… You ever seen that one movie with that chick who be fucking people up with her mind and shit? Damn… What was that movie called? It was an old ass movie too. She had hair like you and them dots all over like you too. She was like in high school and people made fun of her ass and she was having a period or some shit and didn’t go to the prom or some shit and then she just started wasting muthah fuckers with her mind…” said Javier.
“Um Carrie… Are you referring to the movie Carrie with Sissy Spacek?” Asked Anna.
Javier snapped his fingers and pointed at Anna while laughing.
“Yup, yup. Carrie… Old girl, she was fucking them all up with her mind. That was a good ass movie too. You look like her. I mean you really pretty but something bout you remind me of that woman. So I don’t wanna mess with you case you start sending shit flying round the room or some-fing. I can tell you got that innocence bout you and I really like that in a woman. You like reserved and stuff. I aint’t saying prude or nothing but you ain’t like buck wild… Am I right?”
Anna didn’t know what to say or think. She politely listened to Daphne’s ignorant friend and wondered why Daphne was friends with someone so crude, unintelligible and inarticulate. Anna wanted to know what the crux of their relationship was and so she asked point blank. Anna suspected that Daphne may have left her husband for Javier. It was more twisted than she had expected.
“Javier is a record producer of Reggaeton artists in Los Angeles. He is working on a new project with Daddy Yankee actually.”
Anna looked at Daphne with a blank expression. She neither knew what Reggaeton was nor of the artist, Daddy Yankee. Daphne didn’t elaborate.
“And so Javier lives down the street with his wife and their kids are our kid’s age are the same and we started getting together and stuff. We started taking vacations together and got to know each other really, really well,” said Daphne.
Javier’s phone rang. He excused himself as he walked out of the restaurant to carry on his phone conversation. It gave the two friends a chance to be direct with one another.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Asked Anna.
“You’ve lived in Detroit too long. Drab ass Detroit where people exist and die here but don’t really live. Javier and his wife Benita and me and Rufus do all kinds of stuff together. It’s so good. I mean you marry a dude and it’s the same bullshit over and over again but now we get together, put the kids to bed and then we start out husband and wife, then we switch and then sometimes the two men will get with either me or Benita. I mean, we take films of each other and sometimes the men will want us to put on strap ons and give it to them. I know it sounds freaky but really it just keeps us all from going crazy. I’m like helping little girls get to soccer and tap dance classes all week, buying groceries and all that domestic shit and then Imma have the same dude laying on me for what? The next forty years? Shhh-damn. I wanna little something with some flavah. Javier a skinny little bitch but I kid you not… His cock is as wide as a wrist and we finish up and I’m watching Rufus pounding away on Benita’s fat ass. Rufus all sweating and trying to make himself cum. He one time quit and yelled at us for laughing at them and then later when they left, he all like it ain’t fair cause Benita can only be got with from behind. Benita a plus sizer. Ain’t nobody doing Benita cept from behind and then her shit stank. It ain’t her booty, I mean it’s some fishy ass shit like that one Filipino girl we used play soccer with… What was her name? Patty. That was it… We called her Salmon Patty because she was so dang fishy smelling. Anyway, if you can picture Benita’s fat ass in the air all stanky and shit… I mean it is nasty but Rufus actually likes an audience. Me and Javier were laughing at Rufus’ stupid looking fuck faces. He’s all talking and shit. You hear him asking Benita if she bout to cum. He’s all like, I want you to cum on my dick. I never realized how stupid Rufus looked fucking until I got to watch him fucking someone but me,” said Daphne.
Anna was astounded by this revelation. Anna had been with other men other than her husband but nothing anywhere close to what Daphne was describing. Anna had done it on the beach a few years back with her husband while visiting the Indiana Dunes but had to stop because sand was getting in her vagina and made the whole experience less than favorable.
Javier came back with the same devilish smirk that he had before. He plopped himself down and never stopped smiling nor taking his eyes off of Anna. Anna was uncomfortable with the smile and starring that felt like it was burning into her skin with his eyes. After a two bottles of wine and a couple of shots of Ouzo, Javier got right to the point.
“Anna… Daphne has spoken so highly of you and it feel to me like I know you in a certain respect. I would like to invite you to have a night with us tonight like you’ve never had before. We got a room at the top of the Greektown Casino Hotel that looks down at the whole downtown and shit. We kin git a few more bottles of wine, get the music going and just really enjoy this night together… I know you gonna say no cause you so sweet and innocent. If I offered to buy you this dinner tonight, you the type that would demand to pay for herself and that is so nice and sweet but really I aks you to put that aside tonight and let the meek in you take a back seat tonight and let the tiger roar. I know you got a tiger in you, girl. You gotta let the cat out the bag tonight,” said Javier.
With that, he reached across the table and caressed Anna’s hand. Daphne was hoping that Anna would give in. After all, Anna’s husband would never know and it was just some fun with no strings attached. Daphne likened it to trying Sushi for the first time; it may look disgusting but it really is tasty.
At that moment, a large middle aged Jewish man with a cigar in his mouth came in wearing a yarmulke, talking on a cell phone loudly that may have been homosexual. The man was hoping to buy clothes below wholesale from a source in Vietnam. Daphne’s whole disposition changed suddenly. She pulled her hand away from Javier, reached into her purse and pulled out a hand gun. Anna’s nostrils flared and she pursed her lips.
“Excuse me… I have to take care of some business here. I can deal with people being fat and obnoxious but fat and obnoxious and Jewish with that stupid southern belle lilt to their voice, is more than I can take. I don’t know one woman who talks that way,” said Anna, as she walked towards the loud man talking about buying cheap t shirts, carrying her hand gun.

You may be wondering if Anna went back to the penthouse and allowed herself to be tagged teamed by Javier and Daphne. You may wonder if Daphne and Anna took turns with strap on penises on Javier and or other power tool like devices. You might be wondering if Anna had some sort of anti-Semitic leanings, fat phobias and disdain for people who speak way too loud in public places on their cell phones with a distinct feminine manor because of me… My characters all loved their mothers and their mothers loved them and found value in their children as human beings even though I wasn’t searching for value. I know this is sort of random but I felt the story needed a little tension at the end. What better way to divert the sexual tension than having a middle of the road woman, driven to kill or maim over homosexuality, anti-Semitism, obesity and general abrasiveness?

I have always been one of those kids who like to lift big rocks and watch the pill bugs and other crawly creatures take off running when the light of day is put upon them…
And so they lived happily ever after all. Or as happy as could be given their circumstances and poor decision making. The end.

Revolutionary Surf Company

December 1, 2009

Revolutionary Surf Company

Clyde lived in one bedroom apartment in Van Nuys, California. Van Nuys, is the

name of a city within the county of Los Angeles. It is part of the San Fernando Valley,

which is a half hour north by automobile from the City of Los Angeles.

In 1976, while the nation was celebrating it’s two hundred year independence

from Great Britain, Clyde was let go from the only job he ever had. It was during high

school that Clyde quit the school football team and took up surfing full time. It was a cult

like thing that happened among the small clique of his friends who would rise before the

sun and head to Malibu to surf for several hours before school. Clyde was given a job at

the Chevron on Van Nuys Boulevard, pumping gas. For a young guy who wanted to just

surf and pick up girls now and then, it was a great job.

Clyde eventually found a young woman who was into the surf culture as much as

he was. She was beautiful with straight blond hair and the body of a goddess. Clyde too

was attractive and had a thin frame with platinum blonde hair and a year round bronze

glow to his skin due to the sun. Mary and Clyde, married at the age to nineteen and had

two children. Mary surfed less and less and studied more. She enrolled at California

State University at Northridge or CSUN as it was known by the natives and became a

school teacher. Mary excelled in school and graduated with high marks. She taught

elementary school and went back to get her masters degree so that she could become a

school principle. By the time she and Clyde were thirty, she was a principle at a school in

North Hollywood called Saticoy School. Clyde still had a job pumping gasoline at the

Chevron. Clyde learned a lot about cars by working at the gas station but not enough to

secure a job as a mechanic and so like street car operators and ice men, Clyde lost his job

to the automation or the self service stations. People got used to pumping their gas. It became cheaper with the energy crisis, to have people pump their own. They drove little

Hondas and Datsuns instead of big Lincolns and Cadillacs. With no high school diploma,

the only job Clyde could find was a near by hot dog chain called Der Weinerschnitzel,

which was German for, the hot dog. Clyde had to wear a red shirt with the stores logo

and name on it and a white chef’s hat. He saw a lot of people who he went to high school

with and they too had families. The difference was that all of them had high school

diplomas and college educations and good jobs. Some were bankers, or loan officers or

worked for Hughes Aircraft in the aerospace industry. Clyde was serving fast food and

was nearly thirty years of age. Clyde’s wife Mary became very disappointed in her

husband’s desire to aspire to be something in life besides a surfer and a short order cook

and so she took up with another man suddenly. He never heard from her or his two small

children ever again.

Clyde moved out of the three bedroom home they rented in Sherman Oaks and

moved to the one bedroom apartment in Van Nuys. The building was sort of what the

people in the east referred to as a two flat. That meant that there were only two

apartments in the building. Clyde lived above the owners on the second floor. On the

first floor lived a Cuban family that had immigrated slightly after the time that Fidel

Castro, came to power. The father was a heavy smoker and died a few years back and the

wife immediately found another man and had him moved in before her husband’s body

became cold. The man she took up with was your conventional white man, probably

third or fourth generation Irish. This man had been having an extramarital tryst with the

Cuban woman prior to her husband’s expiration.

Now this Cuban couple had a beautiful daughter by the name of Bonita and Bonita or Bonnie as everyone called her, was seventeen years old. She was born in Cuba

but moved from there when she was four years old. Her family took refuge in the

Mexican embassy and were given asylum in the United States. All of Bonnie’s other

relatives still live in Cuba. Bonnie had straight dark hair and was very Spanish looking.

That is to say that she looked unlike the Aztec looking Mexicans who were a large part of

the population in the San Fernando Valley. Most people only knew of Ricky Ricardo as

the only Cuban inhabitant of the United States. Bonnie had full lips that made her appear

as if she were always pouting and had slightly slanted eyes, making people wonder if

possibly she might have some Japanese or Filipino in her. Bonnie was not a small girl.

Bonnie was curvy and voluptuous. She looked much older than her seventeen years of

age. Bonnie was very smitten with Clyde who lived above.

Now Bonnie’s mother was too consumed with trying to please the new man in her

life to pay much attention to her daughter who was nearly a woman. Bonnie was in her

last year at Grant High School and would probably take some typing courses at nearby

Valley College and try to get a job as a secretary.

Bonnie had a lot of boyfriends and admirers who had the hard look of desire on

their faces when they looked at Bonnie. She looked the part of a sex kitten as they called

them back in the days of burlesque. Bonnie couldn’t help how she looked. Like Marilyn

Monroe, she just naturally oozed sex appeal. The fact that Clyde was indifferent with her,

was perplexing. Bonnie knew that Clyde was thirteen years older than her and had been

married. She also knew that he lived a simple life and loved rising early to surf. One day

Bonnie approached Clyde.

“I would like to go with you one morning and watch you surf…”
“Um… Okay.”

So one week day morning at a few minutes before five, Clyde drove his 1964

Chevrolet Impala station wagon down the Ventura Freeway to the Topanga Pass towards

Malibu. The back seat was removed to make space for surf boards and the front seat was

a bench seat with the springs sticking up. In fact, Bonnie was shifting her weight quite a

bit to keep the spring from digging into her ass.

Bonnie sat on the cold sand, covered with a blanket and watched Clyde and a few

other young surfers, ride the waves as the sun began to light the early morning sky.

Within time, Bonnie accompanied Clyde nearly everyday and then she began to spend

nights and before long, she was practically living with Clyde.

One day Clyde and Bonnie were at a mini market picking up a few small items so

that they wouldn’t have to queue up in the local chain grocery store. The clerk behind the

counter was reading the racing form, looking for good bets for the races later in the day at

Santa Anita Race Track. Bonnie grabbed some milk and some toilet paper and a bomb

pop while Clyde looked through the latest issue of Surfer Magazine.

“I know that dude! Totally bogus. That dude was a total hodad, poser.

Unbelievable… Now he has his own boards.”

Of course Bonnie wasn’t listening. She was waiting patiently for the clerk to peel

his eyes from the race form to ringer her up. The clerk gave her the total and then Bonnie

had to ask for a bag.

“Honey, come carry this stuff…”

As Clyde walked up to the counter, two young Mexican men walked in. They

both had nylons pulled over their faces. They wore baggy pants with shiny shoes and tank top t shirts under flannel shirts. One stood at the door and kept watch while the

other walked up with a cannon of a gun.

“Keep yer hands were I can see dem, bato. Don’t try no shit an you live to see

another day, essay… Pinchay cavrone… Dis eess all you got een dah register? I’m

gonna have to take some tequila too… Lay down, bitch and quit looking at me.”

He used duct tape to tape their hands behind their backs. The clerk with the

racing form, still had his cigar in his mouth while he laid face down behind the register.

A few minutes later, a customer removed the duct tape from their wrists. Bonnie asked

the clerk if he was going to call the police. The clerk sort of shrugged and went back to

his form.

Bonnie thought about the whole incident. It was the first and only time she had

ever been in the middle of a robbery. She couldn’t believe how easy it looked and how

matter of fact the clerk was about losing so much money. Bonnie thought about the

prospect of living from hand to mouth with the surfer who was totally satisfied to just

work at a fast food restaurant for the rest of his life. One morning on the way back from

surfing, Bonnie told Clyde of their plans. Bonnie, who was then a full eighteen years old

and done with high school, was used to being the one with vision in their relationship and

so Bonnie discussed her plans with Clyde.

“Listen baby, you have vacation time you never take and I think we should go on a

little trip.”

“That sounds bitchin. Where you wanna go, like Mexico?”

“No baby. You know I’m Cuban, right?”

“Yeah you mentioned that…”
“So Cubans don’t come from Mexico. They come from Cuba. Cuba is an island

like Catalina. It isn’t that much further from Florida than Catalina is from Los Angeles.”

“So we’re going to Cuba?”

“We’re gonna try real hard, mi cielo… First we’re going to see America on our

way to Florida.”

“You can surf in Cuba, right, mi amore?”

“It is surrounded by the ocean, love of my life…”

“Then you know me, babe. I’m like totally down with it… I can bring my board

right?”

“If you really want to, precious, bring your toys with you…”

“Awesome…”

And so they set out on their vacation towards the east on a Monday, after surfing,

before traffic got too bad on Pacific Coast Highway. Clyde drove all the way out to the

dessert with his arm around Bonnie. They sang Beach Boy tunes from the eight track

player he had installed. Clyde also liked Dick Dale, Dwayne Eddy and Jan and Dean but

the Beach Boys were his favorite.

They stopped at a road side diner in the middle of no where in the Mojave

Desert. The waitress was sort of short tempered with them. There were a few other

truckers in the restaurant and the cook. Bonnie had asked her twice to come back because

she needed time.

“Darlin, we got six things on the menu… Watchu think you getting?”

“Okay fine… I’ll just have a cheeseburger with fries and a shake…”

“We got two kinds of shakes, the vanilla kind and the chocolate kind… Which one you want?”

The waitress then rolled her eyes and walked off. They got their food fast as it

was fast food and they ate it relatively fast also. Bonnie had a few fries and some bites of

her hamburger and maybe a few sips at best of the shake. The waitress made a comment

about that.

“Y’all shoulda ordered the kiddy plate if this was all you was gonna eat… Seems

a damn shame with all the starvation in the world.”

Bonnie had enough of the woman’s attitude. She felt that now that she was

legally a woman, people had to start treating her with respect.

“Ma’am, if your so concerned with the food, you’re welcome to do whatever you

want with it. You don’t look like you missed to many meals, to me.”

The waitress scribbled the total and slammed it down on the table. Clyde sensing

tension, went over and paid the bill. He was apologetic which just angered Bonnie

more. Bonnie lectured Clyde as they walked to the car.

“Baby, you got to learn to be my knight in shining armor. You can’t saying sorry

to no fat ass bitch because you thought I was mean. That woman was rude, mi hito.

Don’t do that, okay?”

“Sure babe… You know me.”

They drove across the street to get some gas and check the oil. Ironically enough

it was a Chevron station and they still had a man who pumped the gas, checked the oil

and filled the tires. Bonnie excused herself to go to the bathroom. She walked back

across the street to the back of the restaurant and put on a large black poncho, black

gloves and a Richard Nixon mask. She walked in with a Snoopy pillow case and a gun that she purchased off of some Mexican gangsters in the park near their apartment back in

Van Nuys. Bonnie locked the door and fired the gun at the ceiling once. Plaster fell on

her head.

“Everybody over here in the middle of the floor… You! In the back! Get up

here!”

She duct taped their eyes and hands behind their backs and withdrew a little over

$200.00 from the register. She pulled the shades down and turned off the lights and

exited through the kitchen door and walked over to the car as if nothing had happened.

Clyde saw Bonnie coming from the direction of the restaurant and asked her why she had

gone back over there.

“I got to thinking about it and decided I would make things right, baby. Let’s go

now!”

They drove through the night and stayed in a road side motel run by real

descendants of the people Columbus was supposed to have discovered. They were really

a dark bronze. Clyde had never seen a real native American before. He was in awe. He

asked to take a picture with them. They did for $5.00.

Now Bonnie being quite street smart and a complete thinker, studied out every

place they hit along the way east. She robbed a whole string of places in Texas and even

brought them up into Oklahoma to rob a place right over the border before they headed

back south and stayed way down south in the bayous of Louisiana. It was there that they

met a kindly old Cajun man. Bonnie initially wanted to rob him but couldn’t bring

herself to doing it.

“People calls me ay-tee-yen. It dare French fo Steven. Ma people come down the Mississip Riviere all dah way dare from watchu have there in Canada called New

Brunswick, close dare to Quebec. Some hundred year plus an we don here speak Cajun.

We mix dah French wit dah Anglais an make watchu got dare Creole.”

“Can you say something for us in Cajun?” Asked Bonnie.

“Quand vous restez ici, vous etes chay vous… Dat der mean dat when you stay

right-cheer, you already home.”
That night they ate crawfish in a stew and drank some homemade concoction out

of a mason jar, all compliments of Etienne and his large family. Other Cajuns got

together that night and played Cajun music. Bonnie liked the Cajuns. They were poor

people who loved life. The songs were unlike anything they had ever heard before. They

had violins, an accordian and a man with a wash board strapped to his chest. Most of

there songs were sung in French with a strong twang. Nobody seemed to mind the two

foreigners amongst them. People danced and drank just the same. Clyde and Bonnie

danced and drank until they could barely stand. They retired to their cabin built on stilts

above a swamp. There was no air-conditioning in the room, just a ceiling fan that

squeaked. They fell asleep in a pool of sweat in each other’s arms as the music played on

and the Cajun’s continued to party.

They met some really nice people in the deep south and it became harder and

harder for Bonnie to want to rob good, simple people of their hard earned money. Bonnie

decided that she would have to incorporate Clyde and they would try their hands at a few

banks. With banks being insured and all by the government. The idea of borrowing

money from banks, knowing the government would return the money to the banks, made

Bonnie feel as though it was justifiable.

“Robbing banks! Baby, I would go through a brick wall for you but not banks…

Where’d you get such a crazy thought, my love?”

“You might have wondered how we got all this money, sweetie pie. I borrowed

from a few places along the way. When you gassed up, I was making withdraws. The

way I see it, if we hit two banks, we are set for Cuba.”

It was in a really hick town in Mississippi where the people were quite uninviting.

They all seemed to look at Bonnie and Clyde strangely and without the hospitality that

they had grown accustomed to. One motel denied them a room.

“I am a good Christian woman and I don’t allow no fornicating in my place of

business. If y’all can prove you married, I be more than happy to get you a room for the

night. Y’all come from California? People sure are different there, ain’t they?”

So it was in a small Mississippi town that Bonnie scoped out a small savings and

loan. There was an elderly man in a uniform with a gun that looked like it never left the

holster. There was a bank manager who had large square glasses and a walrus like

moustache and thick side burns. He had a large stomach that drooped over his belt line.

He was a jovial man. The two attendants were younger women in their early twenties.

People filed in an out of the bank, making small talk with the security guard about fishing

and gardening. One woman discussed seeing an unusual breed of woodpecker in her

backyard with the president who is a bird watcher. Bonnie came in with a blond wig and

granny glasses to inquire about opening an account. She let the bank president know that

she was a student at the nearby college. He gave her a few forms and Bonnie was on her

way. Just before closing the following day, Bonnie and Clyde came into the bank. They

both had on dark clothing. Bonnie wore a Richard Nixon mask and Clyde wore a Lyndon B. Johnson mask, both with highly exaggerated noses.

“Can I have your attention… This is a hold up. Everyone on the ground and

don’t make a sound and we’ll have no problems,” said Bonnie, while holding a gun to the

bank president’s head.

Clyde stood by the door and kept look out. The door was locked. Bonnie ordered

Clyde to duct tape the hands of everyone in the bank. Clyde apologized to an older

woman who was crying.

“I’m really sorry ma’am… If I wouldn’t have lost my job at the Chevron and had

to go to work at Der Weinerschnitzel, we probably wouldn’t have had to do this.”

“Baby, please shut the hell up. You don’t need to be talking to nobody. Just do

your job and we’ll be on our way.”

Clyde stuffed more money into bags than the bags could hold. Stacks and stacks

of hundreds, fifties and twenties. Before leaving, Clyde put two hundred dollars in the

purse of the crying old woman and they were gone. When the crossed into Georgia,

Clyde and Bonnie fought over selling the wagon.

“Sweetie, I got news for you; where we are going, you cannot take the wagon with

you.”

“Where the hell are we going?”

“Don’t worry where we’re going. All you need to know is that there is a lot of

surfing. You can spend the rest of your life riding the waves.”
“Okay… Cool. But I wanna keep the wagon. Can‘t we take it on a boat to Cuba, my love?”

“What don’t you understand about not being able to keep it? Look, when we get

where we’re going, I promise you we’ll find something just as old and probably nicer.”
And so they traded the old wagon for a newer model Ford truck so that Clyde

could keep his prized surfboard. They drove through the night and made Key West, late

in the day. Bonnie left Clyde at the hotel and went looking to buy a boat. She found a

large speed boat with two large outboard motors. They large Chrysler engines. The

owner of the boat store gave Bonnie a good deal. Bonnie went back to retrieve Clyde and

by nightfall, they were headed due south. The trip took a little over three hours on a night

with a full moon and a placid ocean. It was close to two in the morning when they

reached shore. Upon docking the boat, they were apprehended by the police. Clyde had

no idea where he was. All he knew was that everyone was speaking Spanish and they had

a rifle against his spine.

A military officer sat with his feet up on his desk, smoking a large Cohiba Cigar.

He wore a round military ball cap in olive green to match his uniform. He began to ask

Bonnie questions in Spanish.

“So what you are saying is that you and your… Husband?”

“Yes my husband.”

“Yes your husband. You and your husband are political fugitives who have been

plotting to overthrow the American government…”

“Yes that is correct, commandant.”

“You mean to tell me that this man here… Your husband… Looking like

someone who has just left the beach, could tell me the difference between, let’s say the

Democratic Party and the Republicans?”

“Most certainly, commandant…”

“Here’s what I am thinking, comrade… I think that maybe you and this man…

Your husband, Yes? Yes… I think it is possible that you were just common criminals in

the United States and rather than face jail time, you thought you might come back to

Cuba…”

Bonnie began to cry and spun a story of great proportions. Even the commandant

was impressed. He did not believe it but he was impressed.

“We left California last week and drove all the way from Florida and risked death

to get here. I don’t remember Cuba but I do remember all the things my parents told me

and realized that my happiness lies here, in the place of my birth. We want to spread the

word to Cubans that America is truly the great evil. We want the people here to know

about the huge disparity in America. The haves have a lot and have nots suffer

immensely. I believe with all my being in what is being done here in Cuba. I would

stand on a mountain to profess this…”

“And your husband. He feels this passion for equality? He could tell me who

Karl Marx was possibly Lenin. He could identify who Fidel was and what he fought for

and what he fought against?”

“Here’s the thing, commandant, my husband is slightly… How do I say this

exactly? He is a bit dense… His heart is in the right place though.”

They separated Bonnie from Clyde. They sent in an English speaking interpreter

to question Clyde. Clyde was in a room without windows. In the room were two chairs

and a desk with a naked bulb suspended from the ceiling. The government official was a

very pretty woman. Uncommonly beautiful. Her name was Miranda and she tried to come off as Clyde’s friend.

“So tell me, what was it you did in the United States?”

“Well you know, I believe in taking it easy, man. Y’know like my thing is to surf.

I surf everyday. Some people pray and go to church and all but I’m sort of one with

nature and god when I’m on my board… It’s hard to explain but like you got the whole

Pacific Ocean and it’s like the biggest thing in the world and we have this gift… No

amount of money is worth the feeling I get from surfing… I worked and all at the

Chevron on Vanowen for a long time and people pump their own gas now and so I took

up with Der Weinerschnitzel last year. I don’t mind it and all. Bonnie thinks I should

look for another job but I’m cool with it. I told her if we have kids and all that maybe I

could find work in like a shoe store or something like that. I just need something where I

can work with my hands…”

“I see… Tell me how you felt about the Vietnam War.”

“It was mostly bogus… I mean who really cares if they wanted to be communist.

Let em be, man… Live and let live is my motto. I did have an uncle who surfed there

during the war. He said it wasn’t too bad…”

“How do you feel about communism?”

“Well like I try not to get too bogged down in the stuff I can’t really change in

life. People are worried about Russians and commies and all. I think if people really

wanna have that sort of thing, we shouldn’t try and kill them over it… Buy the world a

Coke and have a smile…”

“Yes… How do you feel about the redistribution of wealth?”

“Whoa… You’re hitting me with some scientific stuff there… What does that mean?”

“How do you feel about a few people having so much and many having very

little? Do you feel it is right for everyone to have an equal share?”

“I guess that’s cool and all… I guess I would be a little worried if the dentist was

making the same as the dude scooping up elephant shit at the zoo… I mean like if he had

no incentive to do better, y’know what I mean? Hey, can I ask you something?”

“Yes…”

“Are all the babes here as hot as you? I have to tell you that you’re smoking…”

Clyde and Bonnie were separated for a long period of time. Clyde wound up in a

prison filled with people who had difficulty following the strict laws provided. Nobody

around Clyde spoke English and so he kept to himself. Bonnie was kept with dissidents

in a female prison and was questioned daily for hours. News traveled all the way to the

top. The president of the entire country heard about the couple and saw a chance to use it

as a propaganda tool. He ordered both to meet with him in Havana. They ate well and

were offered alcohol. Clyde was even offered a cigar. The president laughed with delight

at the things that Bonnie said to him. They were so vehemently anti-American that it

warmed his heart. Being a man who understands the power of persuasion and possessing

the gift of communication, he was highly impressed by Bonnie and saw a chance to use

them as a tool.

On May 1st there was a large parade and many people came to hear the president

speak. A lot of people had no choice unless the wanted to chance imprisonment. Be that

as it may, the president had an audience. It was during his four hour speech that he

introduced Clyde and Bonnie. They stood beside the president and looked out at the crowd that stretched as far back as the eye could see.

“Comrades… Here before us are two great people who have left their country, the

United States of America, to live among us. They escaped political persecution and

braved the open seas to come here. Many of you hear false stories of people trying to get

to Florida on little rafts. Right here in the flesh are two patriots who have escaped the

grip of tyranny, imperialism and decadence to be part of the revolution… Long live the

Revolution!”

Now the president, being a master at using symbols as tools, used Clyde and

Bonnie to his advantage. It was like driving a thumb tack into the ass of a giant. It would

not kill but it would hurt like hell. So it was that the duo were given a fifteen minute

television program that would air just before the state run evening news. It became an

instant hit with the entire nation. Everyone would tune in to hear the bizarre and horrid

accounts of things that took place in the United States. They had theme music taken from

a movie staring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. It was banjo music that was played

during the chase scenes from the movie, Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie wore a red beret and

scarf with an olive green military shirt and Clyde usually wore an Ocean Pacific t shirt or

his Los Angeles Dodgers t shirt. Bonnie would read from the teleprompter in Spanish.

“Today in the United States, two thousand auto workers were laid off in the state

of Michigan, in the city of Detroit. Many will be forced to look for new jobs which will

require a college education. The paradox is that university education is not guaranteed

by the state. Many will become homeless and live in parks…”

The screen flashed images of homeless men sitting in a park, drinking out of a

bottle on a park bench as well as angry auto workers, burning a car outside an auto plant in Flint, Michigan. There was also the human interest story of a man who worked in a

textile plant who killed his entire family and then himself after his company moved to

Guyana. Gerald Ford was portrayed as a buffoon who stumbled into power on the heals

of the Watergate scandal. They showed Police brutality and urban blight. They showed

pollution in rivers and lakes and even a fire on Lake Erie near the city of Cleveland.

There was also acid rain, Three Mile Island and oil soaked birds from a tanker spill in

Alaska and so forth. People in Cuba began to feel really good about their plight. The

revolution was getting a bit stagnant after twenty years and so this helped. When it was

Clyde’s turn to speak, he gave the surf report for a few minutes each day. He too read

from a teleprompter and the nation fell in love with his poor verbal skills in Spanish.

“Hello comrades, it is I, Clyde with the surf report…”
They would play surf tunes, Wipe Out and Pipeline, while Clyde pointed to

various spots on the map of Cuba.

“Dudes… Get ready for action coming out of Cape Verde. There’s a storm

brewing like a bowl of Ceviche. Look for waves to be break at above six feet off of

Oriente by Tuesday. Due to the full moon, the action should be cool all over the island…

Let’s go over the vocab for this week, get your pens ready… Stoked, the word is stoked.

That means that you feel really good about the prospects of some really radical waves.

The opposite would be bummed. You’d be bumming over not so radical waves. That

brings us to the next word; radical. Not to be confused with some political term of some

dude who is way out there on a limb. Radical means something really cool. Word three;

hodad, the word is hodad. That is a poser, fake and phony. If the dude is faking he is a

true hodad. Next words are gnarly and bitchen. You can use them both interchangeably.

Both are cool words used to describe awesome waves. You could use toasty too. So this

is the sentence for the week in English… Follow the bouncing ball…

Dude, don’t be a poser, hodad sporting the baggies on a bitchen day when the radical

swells are toasty, gnarly. Don‘t be bumming me when I‘m stoked, bro… This has been

Bonnie and Clyde saying so long and long live the revolution.”

The state provided them an apartment in Havana within walking distance to the

television station. Clyde came up with an idea to manufacture surf boards called,

Revolution Surf Company. Each surf board had the heads of Fidel Castro, Ernesto Che

Guevara, Karl Marx and Clyde, set up like Mount Rushmore. Of course the surf boards

were illegal in the United States just as were Cuban cigars, but there were hardcore

surfers that would find them somewhere on the black market and pay through the nose for

them. The Revolution Surf Company was state owned and their profits were substantial.

Aside from the boards, they had t shirts, shorts and towels with the same Rushmore

looking logo. It was a hit on the west coast where Clyde once lived.

People around the world that lived to surf, bought the surf boards made in Cuba. Every

year in May, they had a surf competition that Clyde would judge.

Bonnie and Clyde married in 1978 in a wedding that was publicized nearly as

much as Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s was in England. They went on to have two

boys that both took up surfing. They still reside in the apartment provided for them by

the government and exist on a meager salary. Clyde never cared. It was about the same

as he made at Der Weinerschnitzel and at least now he had health care coverage and was

taken care of by the government like a good big brother. He was given a 1957 Chevrolet

Bel-Air station wagon compliments of the president. To this day, you can find Clyde heading to the beach early in the morning. Occasionally you can find Bonnie on the shore

watching him.